A Finding Aid to the Allen Tupper True and True Family Papers,
1841-1987
, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.truealle
Creators:
True, Allen Tupper, 1881-1955
Dates:
1841-1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
8.2 Linear feet
Repository:
The Allen Tupper True and True family papers date from 1841 to 1987 and measure 8.2 linear feet. The collection presents a good overview of True's personal life and and his career as mural painter and illustrator specializing in Western themes.

Scope and Content Note
Scope and Content Note
The Allen Tupper True and True family papers date from 1841 to 1987 and measure 8.2 linear feet. The collection presents a good overview of True's personal life and and his career as mural painter and illustrator specializing in Western themes. Through art work, project files, photographs, and printed material, the collection offers a rich resource, both textually and visually of True's research and work on documenting early twentieth century Native Americans cultural traditions. The papers also document True's childhood and his relationship with his family through various family papers, such as correspondence, genealogies, subject files, photographs, and a scrapbook. The collection is a particularly rich resource for the study of Allen Tupper True's work, as well as original documentation of the American West and Native American culture.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into thirteen series according to material type. The contents of each series have been arranged chronologically. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, 1895-1964, undated (box 1, 7 folders)
  • Series 2: Subject Files, 1873-1955 (box 1, 23 folders)
  • Series 3: Correspondence, 1841-1956 (boxes 1-4, 3.5 linear ft.)
  • Series 4: Business Records, 1903-1951 (box 4, 4 folders)
  • Series 5: Notes, 1902-1920 (box 5, 10 folders)
  • Series 6: Writings, 1896-1926 (box 5, 5 folders)
  • Series 7: Artwork, 1897-1923 (boxes 5, 10, and OV 11, 0.5 linear ft.)
  • Series 8: Project Files, 1912-1987 (boxes 5-6 and 10, 0.75 linear ft.)
  • Series 9: Photographs, 1859-1950 (boxes 6-7, 1.5 linear ft.)
  • Series 10: Scrapbook, 1934 (box 7, 1 volume)
  • Series 11: Printed Material, 1875-1981 (box 7, 21 folders)
  • Series 12: Artifacts, ca. 1863 (boxes 7 and 10, 9 items)
  • Series 13: Glass Plate Negatives, undated (boxes 8-9, 0.8 linear ft.)

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Allen Tupper True (1881-1955) was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1881. He was a student at the University of Denver, and studied at the Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. between 1901 and 1902. In 1902, he was accepted into Howard Pyle's classes in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, and studied there until 1908, befriending classmates George Harding, Gordon McCouch, Thornton Oakley, and N.C. Wyeth. Through Pyle, True began his career as a magazine illustrator.
From approximately 1913-1915, True worked with British muralist Frank Brangwyn, assisting Brangwyn in the execution of murals at the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, California.
After marrying Emma Goodman Eaton in 1915 (divorced 1934), True launched his career as a mural painter. His most notable works include the mural decorations in the state capitol buildings of Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming, as well as murals for the Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company Building and the Civic Center in Denver, Colorado. True specialized in depicting Western and Native American themes.
From 1934-1945, True acted as consultant for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, in charge of and designing all decoration and color schemes for the Boulder Dam power plant, Grand Coulee Dam, and the Shasta Dam, among others.
True was a Unitarian Mason, and a member of the Mural Painters of America, Beta Theta Pi, Cactus Club of Denver, and the Author's Club, London. He died in 1955.

Administration
Alternative Forms Available
The collection is available on 35 mm microfilm reels 4891-4898 at the Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Researchers should note that the arrangement of the material described in the container inventory does not reflect the arrangement of the collection on microfilm.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Jean Fitzgerald, February 28, 1994. The finding aid was modified by Stephanie Ashley in 2002 during EAD conversion.
Author
Jean Fitzgerald
Sponsor
Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Provenance
The Allen Tupper True and True family papers were donated in February and April 1988 by True's daughter Jane True Mueller and his son, Frank True.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research. Patrons must use microfilm copy.
Ownership and Literary Rights
The Allen Tupper True and True family papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
The Allen Tupper True and True family papers, 1841-1987

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diaries Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Portraits Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mural painting and decoration, American Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Muralists -- Colorado -- Denver Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Christmas cards Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists' studios -- Photographs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrators -- Colorado -- Denver Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Illustrated letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cartoons (working drawings) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketchbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Borglum, Gutzon, 1867-1941 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brangwyn, Frank, Sir, 1867-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/